A few years ago .. ok, maybe a good number .. I began exploring ontology (ways of being) and epistemology (ways of knowing). I loved playing with the ideas, getting confused, mixing them up, turning them around in my mind, diving into their meaning.
I thought journeying into the worlds of ontology and epistemology were the means, the foundation and background to my postgraduate research. However (and thankfully so) I came to realise that my research ‘project’ was not a construction, a product beckoning on the horizon, a major engineering feat as it were. My research project could be the transformative nature of the journey itself. I was my project. A journeying of being. And that journeying became story.
I called the bluff of ontology. I asked questions about the learning process – is transformation a series of lights beckoning, a progression of events, light bulbs flashing on and off?
And that’s when I fell in love with Emily Bronte and her poem below written before 1848. Emily, if we had met on your mountainside, I would yell in the wild wind ‘go girl!’
Often rebuked, yet always back returning / To those first feelings that were born with me.
And leaving busy chase of wealth and learning /For idle dreams of things which cannot be.
Today I will seek not the shadowy region / Its unsustaining vastness waxes drear
And visions rising, legion after legion / Bring the unreal world too strangely near.
I’ll walk, but not in old heroic traces / And not in paths of high morality,
And not among the half-distnguishd faces / The clouded forms of long past history.
I’ll walk where my own nature would be leading / It vexes me to choose another guide –
Where the grey flocks in ferny glen are feeding / Where the wild wind blows on the mountain side.
What have those lonely mountains worth revealing? / More glory and more grief than I can tell.
The earth that wakes one human heart to feeling / Can centre both the worlds of Heaven and Hell.